Running has been a *relatively* easy way for me to get back in shape, burn off steam and pump up my endorphins. I started running in college and have kept it up, albeit inconsistently, since then. I tend to be more of a fair weather runner and find it difficult to stay motivated to keep running during the dark and rainy months.
On a picture-perfect sunny day I long to go for a nice jog in my neighborhood, through the arboretum, just a mile north of our house, or down along Lake Washington. It seemed like running would be a natural way for me to keep exercising and practice self-care.
Not long after Hannah was born I signed up for two 5Ks, a 10K and a half marathon. I completed the shorter runs in the fall of 2018 and used that momentum to help me train for my October 2019 half marathon that I now just completed.
There were so many days and weeks when I almost gave up and stopped training. It is really hard to work in multiple runs each week and even harder when the runs start taking an hour or more to complete and find the time to do them either just with Hannah or when Alex can take both kids.
After many conversations with myself I reminded myself that this is really the only thing I’m doing for myself these days. Other than things associated with being a mom, this is the only goal I’m really working towards for myself.
Once I broke through and got into a good rhythm I ended up loving my half marathon training. Before I became pregnant with Ben I did a half marathon and swore I’d never do another one because the training just takes so much time! I’m so unbelievably more busy now than I was then and I ended up really enjoying the time I spent preparing for the race.
In any case, my second half marathon is now on the books and it was wonderful. So wonderful, in fact, that I’d like to sign up for the same one next year and another one beforehand. I found it very motivating to have something to work towards. I don’t think I would have laced up my shoes and buckled Hannah into the jogging stroller in the pouring rain if I didn’t *have* to for my training.
The half marathon itself was a blast! I couldn’t believe how many other people were there running the half or the full marathon. The weather was absolutely perfect – it was chilly and so sunny. The course was gorgeous and the fall colors were at the peak of their perfection.
I found it to be extremely motivating running with the crowds and it helped me keep up my momentum and pushed me to run faster than I normally do. The race took us around Leavenworth and through a lot of residential areas. Most driveways had families or groups of friends gathered holding cups of coffee, ringing their cowbells. It was so uplifting and made the race that much more fun.
The first 8 miles went really smoothly and I felt terrific – full of energy and totally pumped up. Around mile 8 I got a little tired but after running by Alex and the kids I got a second wind that carried me through to mile 11. Miles 11 to 13 were a little slower and I was really ready to be done.
My legs kept going though and I finished my second half marathon in 2 hours 5 minutes 44 seconds. I was 390th out of 1,182 total runners and 197th out of 807 female runners. In my age group (30-34) I was 44th of 155th.
It was a huge moment of pride and accomplishment for me to finish the half marathon. I am overjoyed I was able to train for and complete the race and also enjoy the whole process. Now, on to the next one!